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Aug 30 – Sept 3: Monterey County Fair

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Directions for biking to

the Monterey County Fair

The Monterey County Fair & Event Center is a short bike ride from the popular coastal bike/multi-use trail that is part of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail network. Below are two of the routes many people take. For additional directions help, refer to Bicycle maps / Mapas de bicicletas – en español and English for Monterey County.

Bike-there direx from the coastal trail at Casa Verde

Note: This route is nearly entirely flat, with only one very short and cinchy hill just before you reach Fremont Avenue.

  1. Leave the bike/multi-use trail at the Casa Verde intersection, where Casa Verde intersects the trail and the street that parallels the trail there, Del Monte Avenue. (Not familiar with that intersection?  A landmark on the southwest corner of Casa Verde and Del Monte is Bay View Academy.)

  2. Cross Del Monte Avenue and bike south on Casa Verde. There are no bike lanes on Casa Verde nearly all the way to the fairgrounds, so use extra caution as you share the traffic lane with cars.
  3. Continue up Casa Verde all the way to the T-intersection at Fairground Road. (When you’re nearly there, Casa Verde crosses Fremont Avenue. At the Casa Verde and Fremont intersection, on your right is a gas station and, across Fremont, a Beverly’s fabrics/crafts store.)
  4. After crossing Fremont, you’ll see a “green lane” (added in 2016, to welcome people who bike to the Monterey County Fair & Event Center). That’s the fairgrounds marquee straight ahead of you. IMG_0177

Bike-there direx from coastal trail at Camino Aguajito

Note: This route is mostly flat, with some slight uphill on Mark Thomas that most people will find comfortable.

  1. Leave the bike/multi-use trail at Camino Aguajito, which has a traffic signal. You’ll be crossing the street that parallels the trail there, Del Monte Avenue. (Not familiar with that intersection? There’s a gas station on the southeast corner of Camino Aguajito and Del Monte.) 
  2. Continue south on Camino Aguajito to Third Street. Turn left on Third Street (landmark—but not the direction you’re going: on the right, that street is named Pearl Street and bridges over Lake El Estero).
  3. Continue east on Third Street to the T-intersection at Sloat, which runs alongside the Naval Postgraduate School.
  4. Turn right onto Sloat. Continue south on Sloat until you reach the traffic light at Mark Thomas Drive.
  5. Turn left onto Mark Thomas Drive.
  6. Continue east on Mark Thomas to the traffic signal at Garden Road. (Just fyi, at Garden Road, Mark Thomas becomes Fairground Road.)
  7. You’ve arrived at the fairgrounds.

Bicycle security at the fairgrounds

Per Michael Baroni of Green Pedal Couriers on Facebook 9/2/17:“Every event [at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center] [that has attendance above] 1,000 people requires the bike valet now.”

Confirm with the Fairgrounds office regarding whether a bike valet station will be available, and if so, the bike valet hours and gate location.

For any events at the fairgrounds when there is no bike valet, take extra care to lock your bike securely, and if at night, in a well-lit area, etc. See http://bit.ly/BicycleSecurity tips!

Advocate for bicycling: As of May 2018, the Monterey County Fair & Event Center needs more bicycle parking racks! People who bike do find it challenging to find a good place to lock up their bicycle when there is not a bike valet service at the fairgrounds. If you would like to see new bike racks at this location, contact the Monterey County Fair & Event Center and encourage them to apply to the Transportation Agency for Monterey County for bike racks, lockers, and maintenance stations.

 

Why bike to the Monterey Fair

Biking to the fair means you’ll zip past traffic jams, avoid parking lot fees,  see the neighborhoods up close and personal, get exercise in the fresh coastal air, and help keep our earth, air, and water cleaner.

Bike-and-ride option

It isn’t necessary to bike all the way to the Monterey County Fair & Event Center (the fairgrounds).  Instead, if your stamina or schedule don’t permit that, bike part-way there.  See bike-and-ride tips, for using Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) bus, a personal vehicle rack, hotel shuttle, or other bike-and-ride option.

Don’t have a bike?

Maybe you’re visiting Monterey County and didn’t BYOB (bring your own bike).  You can still leave your car at your hotel, hostel, campground, or elsewhere.  Then use one of the bike rentals available in Monterey County.

Biking in the dark

Will your return tip be at night?  See Personal Safety tips and Biking in the Dark.

Local biking questions?

See Tips for Bicycling Monterey County on this site, or contact me. Can’t reach me immediately?  Contact another of Monterey County’s Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources.

Resources for biking in Monterey County

Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, a 20-section guide, includes:

Lodging–including camping–plus showers for day visitors:
Spread the word

Print some minis or other materials to keep with you, so you can easily help others find these and additional resources.

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The information below was last updated in 2015. Check with the fairgrounds office or with the bike valet provider for any updates.

Free bike valet parking

For 2015, the annual Monterey County Fair will again have free bicycle valet parking for fairgoers, on specific fair dates.  Not only are bicycles, cargo bikes, and bike trailers accommodated, the valet service is happy to accept strollers and joggers too.

Bike valet station:  Dates, hours, location

The 2015 fair runs September 2-7, 2015. For dates and hours when the valet service is offered (likely Fri-Sun), please contact valet service provider Mike Baroni of Green Pedal Couriers.

Location of the bike valet station for the 2015 fair will likely be Gate 5 again; you may confirm the location by calling Green Pedal or the fairgrounds office.  Bike-there “route tips”  are provided above.

Green Pedal Couriers is Monterey County’s first bicycle-powered courier service. The company was established in 2009 by Monterey County native Michael Baroni.

Volunteer to help Green Pedal at the fair

Green Pedal owner Mike Baroni and the Green Pedal team are donating a lot of hours to provide the free bike valet parking during the fair.

If you share their passion for helping care for the planet, one pedal stroke at a time, or just enjoy serving the community to make the fair more successful, offer to help Green Pedal for a few hours, or many.

Call Mike Baroni of Green Pedal to get on the schedule of bike valet volunteers.

 

This post was previously published, and some updates have been made from previous years.

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